Did you hear about the man who zumped his girlfriend? His friends call him a moronavirus, but he was in a hotspot.

Till recently that would have made no sense. Now it reads like the start of a novel written yesterday. That is how powerful the coronavirus is. It has altered the way we speak. Here are key words without which viral knowledge is incomplete.

Zumped: Dumped over Zoom. Some years ago, the rock star Phil Collins was said to have split up with his wife over the fax machine (for younger readers, that was a popular office machine in the 1980s and 90s where you sent a message from one part of the world and it printed it out at the other). Is being zumped better or worse than being fumped?

Moronavirus: A moron who uses the coronavirus to spread fear and unhappiness by his acts, e.g. going to the beach with 20 friends, or refusing to be socially distant.

Hotspot: An example of a word that has changed its meaning thanks to the coronavirus. It once meant an exciting new party place, but now means an area where the coronavirus has caused much damage.

Social distancing: Till the other day it meant ignoring someone you didn’t like at a party or a function; now you can walk within six feet and then ignore him.

Antigen: People who are against the generation which believes that social distancing is only for the old and infirm.

Covid: The act of watching the same movie on the single computer in the house.

Handshake: An ancient custom where two people meeting each other stuck out their right hand and had it shaken by the other. It was banned in the early part of the year 2020.

Hug: Another banned activity, where two human beings expressed happiness at meeting by throwing their arms around each other. Rare pictures of this activity are still available online.

Covidiot: Same as moronavirus (see above).

Droplet:  Both the act and the result of allowing bodily fluids to drop from the nasal passage onto a surface where the virus can survive depending on its level of fitness and diet. You let drop a droplet and thus pass on the fever.

Asymptomatic: Usually the state of mind of the covidiot or the moronavirus – the complete lack of sympathy for fellow-human beings.

Ventilator: Shortage of this machine causes politicians to ventilate on a variety of subjects, including the shortage which they might have been responsible for.

New normal: Like some Latin expressions, no one knows what this means. It could mean a better, healthier world or it could mean a world much like the one we have been stuck with all these years.